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Art gives new lease of life to public spaces

Regular commuters of MRTS at Chintadripet station were in for a surprise when they saw kolam design on the shutters within the premises

Art gives new lease of life to public spaces


The space that once wore an empty look is now beautified with paintings and sapling. This is an effort by final year students of the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Guindy. 

“This project is part of the Westminster International Design Competition for which we were shortlisted,” says Yamuna Sakthivel, who along with Soundaryan, Saranya and Pon Sundar are on a mission to give public spaces in the city a new look. “The brief of the competition was to revive some of the disused portions of public facilities. 

The premises of the MRTS stations are huge and only a few parts, such as the ticket counter and the platforms are being used. We wanted to make the entire space user-friendly,” she adds. They started with Kasturbai Nagar MRTS Station. 

They collected discarded tires, pipes, roped and other scrap materials. “We decided to design kolams instead of graffiti because it speaks a lot about our culture and people can relate to it,” she explains. After the success of the first project, they chose Chintadripet MRTS Station. The commuters have expressed their happiness over these decorated public spaces. 

As far as the competition goes, they have been shortlisted in the top 6. There are many groups in the city that have taken to wall art in an effort to beautify the city. The Paint Box is one group that has worked in many areas. Recently, they painted the foot-over bridge on Nungambakkam High Road. 

Angelin Prince, director of The Candles, a group that recently painted the walls of a crematorium in Anna Nagar and the boundary wall of a government school on Aminijikarai says, “When we choose a wall to paint, we ensure that it conveys a message. 

We take up important issues like environment, healthcare and education.”

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